Forced Education in America
In 1642, that first compulsory education law prioritized childhood literacy, but it placed the responsibility on parents to educate their children.
It wasn't until 1852 that Massachusetts passed the country's first compulsory schooling statute, requiring attendance at a state-approved school.
That law required 12 weeks of school attendance per year for 8 to 14 year-olds, paltry in comparison to the minimum 180 days a year now mandated by most states.
Let Parents Choose
A lawmaker in Arizona is hoping to challenge the 165-year experiment with compulsory schooling, and once again place parents, not the state, in charge of children's education. Paul Mosley, a junior Republican legislator in the Arizona House of Representatives, wants to repeal compulsory education laws that he says limit choice and parental empowerment.